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3. Search

Beginner's mode

Select the Beginner's mode if you are a newcomer or have little experience in searching for patents and utility models.

The Beginner's mode allows to carry out basic searches within the most frequently used search fields by means of simple queries. It has an easy-to-use intuitive search interface.

Enter your search terms in the search fields. Fill in at least one search field. An example in the admissible entry format is given next to each search field. Click the example to display further input examples and information on the respective field in a new window.

Search terms entered in different fields are automatically combined by the "AND" operator.

Information on the individual search fields:

Publication number:
In this field you have the following search options:

Information on publication numbers DE from 1978 to 2003
For publications of the German translation of the international application (WO - PCT) e.g. DE2853481 or publication of the German translation of the patent claims of the European patent application e.g. DE9487, please enter publication number without kind code in the field "Publication number".

The search is case-insensitive.

Please note the following if you search for terms containing umlauts: The umlauts ä, ö and ü are not automatically converted to "ae", "oe" and "ue", and neither vice versa. Example: if you search for "Fußböden", you should submit the spelling "Fußboeden" as well. A convenient method is to use the # wildcard, which represents one character or no character at all. This type of search will cover all variants of spellings: if you submit << fußb##den >>, the results will include "Fußböden", "Fußboeden" and the singular form, "Fußboden".

If you enter more than one term, all terms are automatically combined by the "AND" operator. The search will return only the documents that contain all terms that you entered in your search. A single search term will possibly return very many results that are not relevant. You can narrow the search results expediently by entering at least one other concrete term.
In the Beginner's mode it is not possible to combine two or more terms by OR; use the Expert search or the IKOFAX search for this purpose and for the search with other operators.
Here you can also use a phrase search option: Use single or double quotes around a certain phrase (sequence of words) to return only documents containing that exact phrase (sequence of words) in the title.
If special characters - for instance a hyphen or a slash - are entered, the proximity operator "W" will automatically be used in the search. This has the following advantage: the search returns also those publications which contain the search expression with a special character that differs from the special character you entered at the respective place in the title. Example: The search will return the same results whether you enter < schwarz-weiß > or < schwarz/weiß >.

An explanation of the individual operators is available in the Help chapter "Search modes > Expert search".

Use this field to search for an individual person or for an individual company name. In the Beginner's search, it is not possible to search for more than one person or more than one company.

If you enter more than one word (for example, first name + family name) all the terms are automatically combined by the "L" operator. The L operator will cause the system to put your entered data in the desired relation to each other during the search.

The "L" operator is used because the field "Applicant/Owner/Inventor" may contain two or more data components, as for example, associations of applicants (associations of owners, associations of inventors)..


Anna Meier of Lemgo and Bernd Huber of Olpe are joint applicants of the invention "XY". An application for the invention "YZ" was jointly filed by Anna Huber of Kehl and Bernd Meier of Lahr. If you search in this field for < Anna Huber > the search will return only the (correct) result regarding the invention "YZ" due to the automatic use of the "L" operator. The search will also return this result if you enter < Kehl Huber > or if you enter < Anna Kehl >.
It is true that the invention "XY" also contains the components "Anna" and "Huber" in the data field "Applicant", but these components are not contained in the same subsection (segment).

An explanation of the individual operators is available in the Help chapter "Search modes > Expert search".

Publication date:
You can enter a specific date or a time range.
For all admissible entry formats see the corresponding section in the Help chapter "Searchable fields".

All classification fields:
It is not possible to search for two or more IPC symbols in the Beginner's search mode; enter just one IPC symbol. Even then the total hits returned will frequently exceed the maximum number of 1,000 results that can be displayed. To display all publications found you can perform the search in several steps by including an additional field. For example, you can narrow the search for documents regarding the IPC symbol F17D5/00 by including the publication year: In the first search step you search for publications in 2010 by entering J-2010 in the field "Publication date". Then, you conduct analogous searches for the years 2009, 2008, 2007, etc.
Alternatively, it is useful to narrow your search by including a publication country: Enter a country code indicated in the table Data coverage in the field "Publication number" (for example, DE or EP). If the total hits returned still exceed the maximum number of results that can be displayed, use all three fields for your search.

Search in the full text:
The same applies to this field as to the field "Title" (see above).

In this mode, you will get a standard result list. If your query contains a syntax error, an error message will be displayed.

At the bottom of the search form you will find one button:

  Submit your request by clicking the "Start Search" button. The hits will be displayed in form of a result list. 

Configure result list

In the "Hide result list configuration" section you can customise your result list. Tick the check boxes provided which correspond to the columns to be displayed on the result list. You can choose the following columns: "Publication number", "Application date", "Publication date", "IPC main class", "IPC secondary classes/index classes", "Reclassified IPC (MCD)", "Search file IPC", "Inventor", "Applicant/Owner", "Title", "Abstract" and "Sequence listings".
The drop-down menu for sorting the result list allows you to sort the result list by different criteria. Select the desired data field and choose (ascending/descending) order.
The drop-down menu labelled "Results/page" allows you to choose the number of results (25, 50, 100, 250) to be displayed per page. The default value is 50.

© 2019 Deutsches Patent- und Markenamt | Stand vom 30.07.2019